How are hotel maids compensated?

There was another thread where someone was told by the hotel staff that they had to make sure the occupant was still there and well, as opposed to having bugged out or being sick or dead in the room.

Interesting thing happened to me recently at a nice hotel in Boston. I fell on my ass in the shower (LAWSUIT! baw haw!) and ended up having to cover the tub floor with a couple of hand towels so as not to slip. I felt bad about leaving all the sopping wet towels for housekeeping to clean up, so left a $5 tip. They in turn left me an extra bottle of water (usual hotel charge: $4) and some mouthwash. I thought the water was a really nice gesture on their part. Win-win!

Or, if you are flying, you might not have room in your luggage.

This is one reason I like staying in extended stay hotels. They often have a little kitchenette, and are sometimes cheaper. I assume they are cheaper because they don’t make up the rooms every day.

It really wasn’t a mystery to me, even at age 16. They didn’t want to take their beer because it was cold, and they had no way of keeping it cold on the way home. Or the vacation was over, and so was the drinking. Or they bought a heavy New England Ale they thought they would like, but didn’t. It was more common to find four or five left in a six-pack rather than one or two stragglers, and they were usually something like Shipyard Ale, India Pale Ale or Pete’s, not Bud or Coors.
Notice I didn’t say liquor, something they could take without much regard to temperature, and if they bought it, they probably knew they liked it, and since it cost more, they were more likely to take it.

Tipping in hotels is the convention, whether you are a slob or not.

Only past the first nite, unless you *were *a slob.

I would bet that if you could somehow magically survey all of the hotel guests in America tonight, from the high-powered business executive staying on his companies’ expense account at the Ritz-Carlton, to the on-and-off homeless dude who has somehow scraped up $25 for a night in the local rundown flophouse (the kind with the filthy bathroom down the hall) to the Salt-of-the-Earth middle class family on their annual cross-country vacation who are checking into the downtown St. Louis Hyatt Regency, I would bet that less than 25% ever leave a tip for the maid…

I have been working in hotel housekeeping for the past seven years. I’ve only worked in two different hotels in the same metropolitan area, so I can’t speak for the industry as a whole, but here’s my experience:

You get paid by the hour, at minimum wage or close to it. You show up at the same time each day, are given a list of rooms to clean, and stay until you’re done with the list. If someone on your has a Do Not Disturb sign out, that means you get to go home earlier, which means less pay, so it’s a mixed blessing. On top of that, the longer the DND stays up, the more time and effort it’s going to take to clean the room when the guest checks out, because there’ll be several days’ worth of mess rather than just one night’s worth. (And you may not think you’re making a mess, but you are. Trust me, you are.)

Some places mandate that the rooms be cleaned every days regardless of whether the DND sign is out or not. There are a number of reasons for this: there could be someone sick or dead in there, the guest could be building a meth lab, or the guest might just have forgotten that they left the sign up (this happens more often than you’d figure).

In any case, tipping is always appreciated, even if you didn’t leave much of a mess. For all you know, the last guest did leave a mess, and it’s thanks to the housekeeping staff that you didn’t have to experience it firsthand. :slight_smile:

How does one tip a maid? If they see money lying about, how are they to know it is for them?

Usually it’s a few bills neatly stacked on or near the pillow–somewhere one is unlikely to have left it by accident.

I usually leave money in an envelope and write ‘Housekeeping’ on it.

Right. Or you can leave a note with the $$ “Housekeeper- thanks!”

What I learned from another thread on the subject, and as mentioned above, we put $2 right in the middle of a pillow on the bed. If she was hesitant the first time, she sure would not have been the next morning when another couple of bucks magically appeared again in the same spot.

FWIW, it’s unlikely that you had the same maid two days in a row.

We did have the same maid for a few days in a row in Washington, because she left us little “thank you” notes. Same handwriting. Three days, maybe four. Then I think we did have a maid change.

Good gief, I though this might turn into a “tip the maid” thread.

I had never heard of this concept until I ran across it on a travel forum about 10 years ago. I did a lot of travel with work, as did quite a few others, and nobody ever mentioned or hinted at it. It sounds like another excuse for expensive hotels to charge hundreds a night, then pay the maids almost diddly squat to clean the room. Please, add $2 to my hotel room cost instead, and pay the maid $2 or $4 an hour more. If cleanliness is such an important aspect of the hotel’s image and customer service, maybe the cleaners should be appropriately paid.

Soon we’ll be hearing that $2/night is too cheap, please meake it $5 or $10/night. Sort of like how restaurant tips have gone from 10% to 15% and now people are screaming 20%… and of course the employers love it, they then go to the government and get an even lower minimum wage because “they ar expected to get their income from tips.” Sorry, if I’m paying $239/night for a Marriot or Hilton, make it $244 and pay the maid extra. If you don’t want to pay the maid a living wage, why not post a sign saying so in the lobby? Why should I make up for your cheapness?

(The only place I did tip housekeeping was Egypt, where tips are considered a major part of the worker’s living wage, as with evrywhere else in their tourist industry. I don’t tip the guards at tourist attractions in the USA either. Maybe that’s the direction the USA wants to go, like Egypt is,where everyone collects baksheesh instead of a living wage, but I can’t say much more because political comments are not kosher here.)

The real goal would be to eliminate tipping (except maybe a symbolic 5% or 10% in some jobs) and have everyone paid a decent wage.

I have heard stories of Americans in New Zealand, for example, having their tips tossed back at them with the comment “we don’t want that habit in our country”. If it becomes common then the locals will have to do it too.

And in the meantime people in minimum wage jobs get fucked over. Thanks. :rolleyes:

They already do. Nobody tipped me when I worke as a security guard; nobody tips McDonalds workers. Nobody tips the guy sweeping the office building…

All tips do is totally mess up the system.

Case in point - in Egypt, working in a prestige hotel, the bellman can make more in tips in a day loading bags on and off busses than the school teacher makes in a month. Guards/attendants at some attractions barely earn enough to commute to work, they are expected to live on their tips. What’s the result? Some teachers do a crappy job teaching so the parents will pay for private tutoring to make up for it; doctors or gas pump attendants demand a “tip” to do what should be their job. Your job becomes a decoration that’s just there to shake down the next sucker.

My rich brother-in-law’s (municipal) garbagemen started missing or spilling his garbage cans when he cut back his tip during hard times in the 2001 recession. What used to be a gratuity now became a means of extortion - pay extra or we don’t do our job.

My wife managed a restaurant once, and the servers often made more - with tips and minimum wage - than she made in wages. Nobody wanted to be an assistant manager if it took them away from much of their tip-earning serving. Plus, she was always comping part of meals to allow for the fact that a large group had tied up a server for hours and then balked at leaving a decent tip. (“Why would I tip someone $90??” Well, duh, your party of 10 ran up $450 in meals and drinks… Yes $90 is a lot, but it’s the same percentage when your bill is $80 and you should tip $12)

it’s a great system while it gives YOU the money, but not when it doesn’t. Then it’s just totally imbalanced.

But now we’re straying into Great Debates.

Suffice to say I have never, except in a few online forums, run across anyone who actually leaves tips for hotel maids in North America. I assume they make minimum wage, and so the work force seems to be minimum wage - in the bigger cities that means immigrant, still learning English, and probably working a lot harder than local-born types because they know what real poor is.

My policy as well.